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State Water Policy Changes Begin To Flow

Oct 20, 2015

Lawmakers appear closer to patching up differences on new statewide water policies which failed to advance earlier this year.

He's back!  Or hopes to be, at least.

In one of the worst-kept secrets in politics, Charlie Crist officially entered the race for Congress, in a soon-to-be-newly-configured district that should include his hometown of St. Petersburg.

Despite a bumpy and contentious year, the Republican-led Florida Legislature returns to the state Capitol on Monday with the goal of trying to draw up new maps for 40 state Senate districts.

This marks the third special session of the year for legislators, and also marks the third time that lawmakers have altered the boundaries of state Senate districts since 2012. This session is scheduled to last up to 19 days.

This post was updated at 11:00 p.m. ET

With only five candidates on stage Tuesday night, the presidential candidates had plenty of time to speak compared with the more crowded GOP debates — but it wasn't equal time.

If you missed the first Democratic presidential debate of the 2016 race Tuesday evening, our friends at It's All Politics have wall-to-wall coverage. If you want a quickie, here's a 100-word recap — and video clip — of what happened:

Hundreds of donors to Jeb Bush's presidential campaign will gather later this month in Houston. They'll shake hands with a pair of former presidents, and high-profile lieutenants of the former Florida governor will push them to write generous checks.

This weekend in Las Vegas, dozens of donors met up with Marco Rubio. They ate fast-food hamburgers, shook hands with a celebrity pawn-shop owner and played flag football with the Florida senator.

Bush Outlines Healthcare Plan, But Who's Not Covered?

Oct 13, 2015
NADA / Flickr

Republican presidential candidate Jeb Bush said he would scrap the national health insurance law known as Obamacare.

Bush outlined his plan to replace it during a speech in New Hampshire Tuesday.

Bush wants a system that protects people from worst-case scenarios rather than comprehensive coverage that includes services they may not want. He said insurance shouldn’t cover everything.

A bruised Hillary Clinton will have much to prove as she takes the debate stage Tuesday evening alongside four of her Democratic presidential challengers. The former secretary of state has been damaged by lingering questions about her private email server and doubts about her trustworthiness.

That has partly enabled Vermont independent Sen. Bernie Sanders to ride a wave of progressive support to a lead over her in New Hampshire and an impressive $25 million fundraising haul last quarter.

CHARLES TRAINOR JR / MIAMI HERALD STAFF

The debate over raising the minimum wage is not a fight being waged so much on the federal level. It's a series of battles being waged in cities and states all across the country. 

In Florida the current minimum wage is $8.05 per hour. But there's a movement, led by Democrats, trying to change that to something they believe is more livable. They believe it should be $15 an hour. 

Bar Jack / Flickr

Following two weeks of nationwide gun violence on school campuses, guns are becoming part of the conversation in Florida, too -- but in the form of legislation. 

 

This week, a bill was filed in Tallahassee to allow concealed weapons permit holders to carry guns in public.  

 

Leon County Circuit Judge Terry Lewis recommended Friday that the Florida Supreme Court adopt a set of congressional districts proposed by voting-rights organizations.

The ruling is a blow to the state House and Senate, which argued that maps drawn by lawmakers and aides would better comply with Florida's anti-gerrymandering "Fair Districts" standards.

The Florida Senate will likely jettison the Confederate battle flag from the chamber's official seal.

The Senate Rules Committee on Thursday voted unanimously to revise the Senate seal that now contains the battle flag along with four others that have flown in Florida. The entire Senate will vote on the change during the annual session that starts in January.

The Confederate flag would be replaced with the Florida state flag.

Protesters Push For Chance To Vote On Florida Tolls

Oct 8, 2015
Audrey Armitage

As the Florida Department of Transportation turns a century old, protesters statewide are staging a 100-hour demonstration against raising tolls without voter approval.

Organized by political action committee D.R.I.V.E. (Drivers Ready to Improve, Vote and Empower), the event aims to boost support for an amendment to the Florida constitution that would allow the public to vote on future toll increases.

tylerericsson1/flickr

Palm Beach County is one vote closer to handing out fines for carrying small amounts of marijuana and marijuana accessories.

The county approved a preliminary reading of a law that would let police officers issue civil citations carrying a $100 fine—instead of criminal charges—for possession of less than 20 grams of marijuana.

If it passes, the civil citation option would be available in unincorporated Palm Beach County. Municipalities within the county would still have to opt in. West Palm Beach has already passed a rule allowing for the civil citations.

Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio vowed Tuesday to cap the number of regulations government can impose on businesses, particularly "on-demand" startups like Uber and Airbnb that he considers models for a changing national economy.

Speaking in New York City to tech enthusiasts, Rubio praised the "disruptive" companies but said such businesses and the people who work for them are unfairly burdened by a meddlesome and "out of touch" government.

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